Updated 2:12 PM EST, Wed, Jan 29, 2020

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China to Develop Stealth Drones to Evade Radar and Anti-Aircraft Missiles

UAV Stretches Cable Across Dadu River For Bridge In Ya'an

(Photo : Getty Images) An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) towing a cable flies over the Dadu River to another side of the Ya'an-Kangding expressway bridge being built on December 20, 2016 in Ya'an, Sichuan Province of China.

China is reportedly developing stealth drones that can evade radar and anti-aircraft weapons, with the Aerospace Science and Industry Corp (CASIC) focusing on making long-endurance stealth drone and near-space drone, China Daily reported on Thursday.

"Drones have become an indispensable weapon in modern warfare because they can play an important role in high-resolution reconnaissance, long-distance precision strikes, anti-submarine operations, and aerial combat," Wei Yiyin, CASIC Deputy General Manager, said.

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Wei further added that CASIC, China's largest missile maker, will exert more effort to produce technologies for long-endurance stealth drones, finish the design of high-speed combat/reconnaissance drones, and utilize new products from both the local and foreign markets.

CASIC also makes multipurpose, stealth target aircraft for training. And all of its drones resemble a cruise missile. Its drones are launched from a vehicle and are retrieved after descending by parachute. The company is the sole cruise missile producer in China.  

The latest WJ-600A/D features an ultrafast cruising speed of 700 km/h. Other Chinese drones could only attain a top speed of 280 km/h.

China is allocating billions of dollars to update its military equipment and produce new weapons such as stealth fighters and aircraft carriers. It has ramped up its military drones research, hoping to lure potential clients with its cheaper technology and willingness to sell to territories Western countries are hesitant with.

China's Chengdu Aircraft Design and Research Institute kicked off the maiden flight of a combat drone comparable with the US' MQ-9 Reaper.  The missile is likely to be a "biggest export deal" for China, The Indian Express noted. A yellow prototype of the Wing Loong II also reportedly carried out a 31-minute test flight on Monday.

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